Originally posted on Muddbunnies.com After a three year hiatis I decided that 2014 was the year to revive the Aussie Diaries. A lot has happened in three years, but some things stay the same. I’m still the same mountain bike obsessed girl I was in 2011 and the Muddbunnies are still a huge part of my life. With almost everything else in my life being in flux it’s nice to have a couple of constants. So let’s get this started by playing catch-up. 2011 – 2012 in short hand For those of you that followed my original blog, I never did make it to 200 days of riding, I did make it to 197 though, so figured I’d make the magic number in 2012. Somewhere along the way though, the number stopped being that important, so although I didn’t stop counting, making it to 200 just stopped being so damn important. No, it didn’t happen in 2012 either, but by that stage I don’t think it actually mattered to me any more. I got another 193 amazing rides in that year if you are wondering.
2013 – Year in review Last year I decided to drop the 200 days off my table (Yes I still counted how many I do though) Over the past couple of years I think I’ve finally managed to appreciated the concept that it really is the quality of the ride, and not the number of them that means the most. Last year began with a trip to Sedona, situated in the middle of the Arizona red desert. For me it almost felt like I was back in outback Australia, the same red dirt, epic open landscape and that sense of beautiful emptiness. If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit Sedona, I highly recommend it, especially as a winter escape. Even in early February the weather was warm, well except for the first day when it snowed on us, and the trails are like nothing you will find on the Shore. Not as technical, but the exposure on some of the trails had me a little nervous.
Easter is always the second trip of the year and I headed to Vancouver Island with a group of my good riding buddies on what has now become an annual pilgrimage. To me it’s a great way to get psyched for the upcoming riding season, get a bunch of riding in on trails that I always plan to get back to during the summer (but never do) and hang out with friends eating good food and drinking good beer.
2013 is also the year I became NSMBA’s first female Trail Adoption Program (TAP) Trail builder. I spent the year working on the Richard Juryn trail with the crew from John Henry Bikes. There is something extremely rewarding about trail building and maintaining, seeing the rejuvenation you can generate in a few hours of hard work. Seeing the pride in the eyes of your trail crew when random riders come through and tell you what a great job you are doing.
As Spring moves into Summer, Pemberton, Squamish and Whistler, all become more viable and accessible for mountain biking, and I start spending the majority of my free time in Whistler. I know people have joked with me about the amount I ride over the summer, but with such limited time you have to make the most of it, and that means pedal rides in the morning then bike park till it closes, eat sleep and repeat. Add in long daylight hours during the week and that gives plenty of time for riding on the Shore and other local areas as well.
I do take a time out from Whistler over the summer, on what’s become another annual trip of mine; Nelson. Nestled in the Kootenay Mountains on the other side of BC. This is big mountain riding, think long shuttles with long loose and gnarly descents, throw in a few big rock slabs and that sums up Nelson. It’s also another opportunity to hang out with friends that I only see once a year, and ride trails for 9 days in a row that constantly make me feel like I am pushing my limits.
I always try to add another fun adventure in over the September long weekend, and last year I had decided to stay local and do the Rainbow Mountain heli drop out of Whistler. Again I rounded up a couple of friends who were keen for an adventure, booked a helicopter and off we went. I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet how much I enjoy Alpine bike adventures, and helicopter rides. You could do this ride on a smaller bike, but for sheer fun I’m gonna suggest doing it on the biggest bike in your collection. As we approached the end of this ride, I lost my front wheel on a loose section of trail and managed to crash directly into a rock (yes, I seem to have a thing for crashing on rocks) a quick inspection confirmed the worse, the impact to the rock had snapped my clavicle. After distributing my bike and gear among my companions I made the slow and painful walk to the bottom of the trail.
Fast forward 8 weeks, and my doctor gives me the okay to “get back on your bike as long as you take it easy” I consider Expresso to be acceptable for that sort of ride. i spent the rest of the year reacquainting myself with my bike, and doing a couple more trail days on Richard Juryn. Coming back from an injury always leaves some psychological scars along with the physical ones, and I am only now feeling that my full confidence on my bike is returning.
So for those who made it this far through my first post, and who would like to geek out on some statistics, here they are: 157 Days, made up of:
71 days Rocky Mountain Element 29er
55 days Cove Stiffee hardtail
21 days Cove STD
22 days Specialized Demo 8
This was in 24 distinctly different riding areas & 2 bike parks. I think that was a pretty good effort for 2013!